In an original, widely researched, and accessibly written book, Robert Dale Parker helps redefine the study of Native American literature by focusing on issues of gender and literary form. Among the writers Parker highlights are Thomas King, John Joseph Mathews, D'Arcy McNickle, Leslie Marmon Silko, and Ray A. Young Bear, some of whom have previously received little scholarly attention.Parker proposes a new history of Native American literature by reinterpreting its concerns with poetry, orality, and Indian notions of authority. He also addresses representations of Indian masculinity, uncovering Native literature's recurring fascination with restless young men who have nothing to do, or who suspect or feel pressured to believe that they have nothing to do. The Invention of Native American Literature reads Native writing through a wide variety of shifting historical contexts. In its commitment to historicizing Native writing and identity, Parker's work parallels developments in scholarship on other minority literatures and is sure to provoke controversy.